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A Tribe Called Quest (Phife Dawg)

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A Tribe Called Quest posing for a picture (Phife Dawg)

A Tribe Called Quest posing for a picture (Phife Dawg)

A Tribe Called Quest posing for a picture (Phife Dawg)

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This past month, hip-hop icon Malik Taylor, otherwise known as Phife Dawg of the rap/hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest, passed away. Phife was a New York native born on November 20,1970 in the Jamaica area of Queens, N.Y.. On March 22 at the age of 45, Phife passed away in Contra Costa County, California, due to diabetes complications. Many mourn the 5 foot assassin’s passing. A Tribe Called Quest consisted of members Kamaal Ibn John Fareed (Q-Tip), Ali Shaheed Muhammad (Ali) and Jarobi White.

 

 As a young child, my dad would often play A Tribe Called Quest. The first time I heard their unique rhythm/style was the day I left my wallet in El Segundo. I often laughed at their weird way of producing their music with Jarobi White changing the vocals,beats and etc.It wasn’t until my late elementary school days when I actually started listening to A Tribe Called quest, me and my sisters would complain to my parents that we don’t want to listen to their “old people music”. Throughout the painful car rides I actually started liking them over time.

 

Malik Taylor (Phife Dawg) often stuck out of the Tribe due to his different unique mindset. I knew Phife changed my perception on hip hop when in the music video for Buggin Out . Phife said “Yo, microphone check one two what is this/The five foot assassin with the ruffneck business/I float like gravity, never had a cavity/Got more rhymes than the Winans got family.” As a youngin my mind was blown by Phife, and this made me want more Tribe.

 

The Midnight Marauders was the album that made me fall in love with A Tribe Called Quest.This was the third album that  A Tribe Called Quest released in the early 90’s. You may be wondering ”Why is a kid in the middle 2000’s listening to a old 90’s rap group?” Well, they had a different sound I never heard before which had me fiending for more, with the unique combination with Jazz and Hip Hop.

 

Rolling Stone Magazine wrote, “Taylor and fellow Tribe member Jarobi had planned to start their own group, but the two would join Q-Tip and producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad officially on 1991’s Low End Theory. Buoyed by exuberant songs like Buggin’ Out’, ‘Check the Rhime’ and ‘Scenario’, Low End Theory‘s landmark fusion of hip-hop and jazz remains a benchmark for the genre, influencing countless rappers and producers and providing the blueprint for a strain of rap as indebted to Grover Washington, Jr. and Ron Carter as James Brown. “He brought the street to A Tribe Called Quest,” said the group’s former manager Chris Lighty in Beats, Rhymes & Life. “If Q-Tip was esoteric and on Pluto, Phife would bring them back to the moon so that it was in the realm of human understanding.“

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A Tribe Called Quest (Phife Dawg)